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Roman site at Manor Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Chippenham, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4745 / 51°28'28"N

Longitude: -2.1404 / 2°8'25"W

OS Eastings: 390341.257254

OS Northings: 175072.15621

OS Grid: ST903750

Mapcode National: GBR 1QY.KNC

Mapcode Global: VH96B.V69G

Entry Name: Roman site at Manor Farm

Scheduled Date: 3 March 2015

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1425267

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Chippenham

Built-Up Area: Chippenham

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: St Paul, Chippenham with Langley Burrell

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

Summary

The buried remains of a multi-period Romano-British farmstead with structural remains and a hypocaust system, with further post-built buildings and probable areas of industrial working.

Source: Historic England

Details

The area includes the remains of a Roman farmstead with evidence of occupation from the first to the third century. Recent surveys and excavations revealed archaeological deposits lying 0.12 to 0.3m beneath the surface, overlying earlier ditches. The ground level drops from the north to the south-west.

The Roman farmstead is enclosed by a rectilinear ditch at least 110m by 75m, and between 1.7m and 2.8m wide and more than 0.7m deep. The enclosure is approximately 1.3 hectares in area. The northern ditches are straight with right-angle corners, and the southern ditches are less regular with curved corners. There are several internal divisions that suggest that the site had several phases of construction and use. The internal divisions measure c.50m x 18m and 50m x 44m, defined by ditches 1.7m to 2.5m wide and 0.58m to 0.9m deep. The north-eastern part of the enclosure has substantial structural remains, including stone walls. The faced outer stone walls are built against natural cornbrash. The pilae of a hypocaust system survive well, with a collapsed opus signinum floor. There is evidence of a furnace, and two 1m by 1m approx. square stone piers stand within the structure. The pilae stacks are flat tile, but there are also some dressed stone plinths at floor level, possibly for structural columns. To the south are further structural remains, including robbed out stone walls, some of which may be of a separate construction phase. In the centre of the north-eastern ditch is a 16m by 12m quarry pit of uncertain date. There are two external enclosures adjoining the main enclosure. To the north east a rectangular enclosure contains a sub-circular feature surrounding 8 large pits or areas of burning, and with a possible earlier ring ditch. The other enclosure is to the east, is smaller, and also contains pits. A series of linear ditches, possibly of earlier date, extend north-eastwards across the western ditch, and outside the eastern ditch, extending northwards for approximately 200m.

To the south of the structural remains are several linear series of post-holes that probably relate to one or more buildings. Evaluation indicates that one of the post-built buildings is 0.019 hectares in area. Further south, beyond a post-medieval hedge is evidence of industrial workings, possibly including a corn drier. An additional wide ditch crosses the southern part of the enclosure on a north-south orientation.

The outlying fields beyond the main enclosure have produced little evidence of Roman origin. An extensive land drain constructed of limestone slates to the south west is probably of post-medieval date.

Quantities of pottery have been recovered from the site. They include a mixture of continental and regionally-traded wares such as Black Burnished wares and Samian, indicating a first to second century date. Other pottery finds include grey, hard-fired sandy ware and colour-coated ware, orange-brown, hard-fired, sandy ware, red, hard-fired ware, and grey-white ware. Building material including architectural stonework, building stone, box flue tile, a capping tile and Pennant stone roof tiles has been recovered. Other finds include Roman coins, a Bronze Age flint scraper, other flints, possible Mesolithic flint fragments, iron slag, nails, an iron ring, spearhead and knife blade, small glass sherds fragments of animal bone and oyster shell.

EXTENT OF SCHEDULING: The monument boundary extends from ST9033375155 (north) to ST9042975117 (east) to ST9033074977 (south) to ST9025175047 (west). A buffer of 5m is included all around the monument for the support and preservation of the site and to allow for some of the features extending beyond the monument, as seen in the geophysical survey and aerial photography.

EXCLUSIONS: the hedge that crosses the monument from ST9029375108 to ST9038375027 is excluded from the scheduling.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Roman farmstead site at Manor Farm, Allington, Chippenham, is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Period/ Representativity: this is a representative example of a Roman settlement site with reasonable survival for its type and locality;
* Survival/ Condition: archaeological evaluation has demonstrated that part of the settlement survives reasonably well, despite plough damage, retaining considerable evidence of structural remains and occupation, probably from the C1 AD to the C3 AD;
* Potential: archaeological evaluation has confirmed that the site is a high status Roman farmstead with significant potential for adding to our understanding of the development of the agrarian economy and the social and economic changes that the Roman Conquest brought;
* Diversity: the settlement at Manor farm is of particular significance as an early site which does not appear to have had an extensive later period of occupation. This will allow a greater understanding of the earliest phases of Roman settlement in the area.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Field, N. Heritage Assessment for The Range, Land off A350, Chippenham, Wilts., 2014
Sabin D. & Donaldson K. Land off the A350, Chippenham, Wiltshire: Geophysical Survey Report, 2014
Wilcox R. A sampling excavation at Manor Farm, Allington, nr Chipenham, Wilts., 1987

Source: Historic England

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